Aug 05 2012

LEADERSHIP HUMILITY

Boasting your way along 

                                     

“the humble leader” line______

 

Maybe it’s a paradox, but it’s really not always a contradiction.

Being both assertive AND humble can work when personal authenticity is in the driver’s seat.  There’s a terrific website www.BizBrag.com that encourages business boasting because there are times when everyone needs to toot her or his own respective horn, and posting news releases on BizBrag makes it easy.

Of course, any news release content you post or create must be newsworthy and not overtly self-serving if there’s any expectation of actually getting traditional or online media coverage. And it should probably go without saying that the better the writing quality, the more likely a release is to gain exposure. Think about being an editor bombarded with hundreds of PR stories!

But speaking up for yourself is not bragging. And assertiveness is not aggression! Effective leaders are almost universally assertive in their thinking and behavior, and their boasting is usually limited to praising others–the teams they lead, the customers they serve, the competitors they battle with. And, therein (AHA!) lies “leadership humility.”

Anyone who tries to prompt business leaders to associate humility with milquetoast, hat-in-hand, apologetic, goody-two-shoes behavior is missing a lightbulb or two in the world of reality. No, this is not to suggest that those in leadership positions run around patting themselves on the back while giving themselves high-fives (making themselves likely candidates for chiropractic treatment), but it IS to say that taking a strong stand–internally and externally–is both healthy and necessary.

Here’s the bottom line: No one wants to hear about how great you think you are. No one cares. Get rid of the words that haunt braggadocio-minded grandstanders: Stop talking in terms of “I” “Me” “My” “We” “Our” and start addressing what customers and investors want to hear (The answer to “What’s in it for me?”) by talking in “You” and “Your” terms. “You get” beats “We are.”

A smile, a nod, a thank you are more than sufficient responses to a compliment or praise. Leave the leaping chest bumps and running wildly around the arena up to the Olympiads. Business people do not like business people who “talk themselves up.” Should customers and prospects know if you’ve won an award or recognition? Certainly, but don’t wear your medal to work or beat them over the head with your Oscar.

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302.933.0911                      Hal@TheWriterWorks.com

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